Marriage and Mercy
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Recently, it’s connected with me that the women of the workforce are the breadwinner more often than ever before in marriage. This isn't every woman, but it's many of them. They're the type-A, business-minded individuals, and they’re the boss. Honestly, I would absolutely put myself in that category! We have employees, we have brands, we have visions and dreams, and we're going after them. Hard.
It’s something to be proud of! Maybe it's because I'm living in Music City, but I also notice that a lot of times those type of women are paired with a husband who aren't wired that way. Their guy might be a creative, someone in the arts, or they might simply be married to someone who isn't driven to earn incomes, who doesn't have goals for business and expansion.
So, how does a woman like this, a hardworking female of the 21st century, reconcile being the submissive wife that the Bible calls for? If you didn’t know, my husband and I facilitate premarital mentoring for couples who are looking to get engaged or preparing for marriage. Often the woman is a little bit like me-- driven, planning, and thinking 20 years ahead-- and the man is a lot like my husband, who couldn't care less about a 401k. Chris is much more about changing hearts than increasing his income, and I love him for it.
Having experience in this arena, I explain to those women that submission is a choice, not a fight to the death. It is the position of your heart. As alpha women, we alone can decide that we are willing to submit to the man of God that the Lord has blessed us with.
I would even point this out to my husband, like, "You deserve more than this!" I was trying to bring my own idea of “justice” to pass, and honestly, to change his mindset to be more like mine! Not a very submitted wife, right?
A lot of women, including myself in past seasons, are looking to ask the Lord for justice when it comes to their husband. They want their husbands dealt with by God for not wanting to earn more money. Maybe you’ve prayed something like this: "Lord, deal with my husband! He is not willing to dot every i and cross every t." In my case, I wanted justice for my husband. "Lord, he deserves for the world to see how awesome he is." Often, my prayer was, "Lord, he deserves to earn the same amount of money that he would have earned in the NBA. Come on God, you need to intervene on his behalf because this is what he deserves!” I prayed as if I knew what Chris needed more than God did!
Recently, I got the revelation straight from the Holy Spirit that my husband does not need justice from me, and he doesn't need me to enact justice for him. My husband above all needs mercy. I don’t need to be praying that God would get him in line, or that he would give him what I think he deserves, whether good or bad. God has called us to “love mercy,” as Micah 6:6 says.
Type A, alpha woman, your husband needs mercy. Here’s the thing about mercy: it’s not deserved, and it's not earned. We can decide the mercies that God has granted us as women, new every single day, are the same mercy that our husbands need. We can give fresh mercy to our husbands, just like God gives it to us. It's possible, regardless of what they have done, right or wrong, and regardless of what we think is just.
Mercy is both for the wives out there who are making more money than their husband, and for the husbands out there who feel the pressure from their wife to do the seemingly impossible. Mercy is for everyone, and it’s a more difficult and more meaningful gift than your idea of justice ever could be. Here's my challenge for this week. Spend the next 7 days choosing to pray for and give mercy to your spouse, and just watch what happens in your relationship and in his heart as you make the better choice.
July 23, 2019